A New Town Centre in Aars

Towards community driven change

Client: Vesthimmerlands Municipality
Our role: Project management, Facilitating broad community engagement, Data analysis, Place strategies, Design
Location: Aars, Vesthimmerland, Denmark
Year: Nov 2019 - Aug 2020
Status: Completed

Aars is Vesthimmerlands Municipality's largest city with approximately 8,000 inhabitants. The town is rapidly growing and is home to an active community. arki_lab was hired by the municipality to engage the citizens, especially the young people, in order to gather data and inspiration for a new plan for the town center. The plan paints a picture of the development of Aars for the years to come, and will be used as a basis for urban transformations, new initiatives and investments. The plan strengthens existing functions and activities, and proposes new ones that can be used across age groups and interests.

Community focused participation
Over a period of approximately six months, citizens, municipality workers and local businesses were asked to participate in a number of different involvement-focused methods, with the purpose of developing a city center that caters to users of all demographics. These methods included a kickoff-event, digital engagement through our engagement app ArkiCity, an online survey, youth and citizen workshops and more.
As a means of ensuring that everyone felt heard, a group of representatives, consisting of citizens and local unions, had the opportunity to give input during the development of the plan. The aim of this was to offer a process that will ensure that the new plan for the town centre has a strong foundation in the local community.

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